So, I've been getting a lot of use from these forums researching cards and strategies, and I thought it was time I posted something. If you want to get right to the Amex Everyday approval, you'll need to scroll down a bit. Spoiler alert: I got approved for a $5,000 spending limit yesterday with TU and EQ scores of 639, and no EX score yet; my oldest card goes back to March, 2018 (4 months).
To make a long story short, I had a bunch of credit cards with my then-wife in the 1980s, and basically did *everything* that one should NOT do with credit cards, ended up hopelessly in debt, swore off cards forever.
Fast forward to 2018: with retirement looming, for a number of reasons, I came to the realization that having some credit would be a good thing, haha, so I got to work. Note that I'll be retiring outside the US, to an economy where cost of living is very favorable with a modest US pension.
First (back in March 2018), I applied for a Capital One Quicksilver One--this is with NO credit record, mind you--and kind of to my surprise, got approved for $300. Needless to say, I've been meticulous with that card, keeping utilization around 6%, paying it off multiple times a month. Capital One started reporting after the first statement due date, and my credit went from 0 (well below 0 according to some apps) to 660 pretty much overnight. Oh, the other thing I did starting out was to get reports from all three bureaus, and clean up some of the wrong addresses and references to jobs I never worked on some of them. Capital One tells me that my limit will be upped to $500 in September.
The next thing I did--which I'm still not sure was the right move--was to ask one of my former students, who I'm very close to and whom I trust as a responsible individual, to add me to her Amex PRG to help build my credit. After about a month, when Amex reported my authorized user status to Experian, my score on both of the other bureaus instantly dropped from 666 to 642. I hadn't thought things through; I forgot PRG is a charge card and being a user on it would not help my spending limit, and since my student and her husband charge from $6,000 to $12,000 on their PRG each month (paying it all off every month as well, of course), the only immediate "benefit" I got from being added is for my "debt" shown on the bureau reports to shoot through the roof. Oh, btw, Experian is still not showing a score for me. So I've decided to hang in there and wait a few months to see if the fact that this new debt regularly gets paid off will eventually help my score or not.
In the meantime, I applied for and got instantly approved for an Adorama store card ($500 limit) and an Amazon store card (instant approval for $1,000 limit); my score is currently 639, but the Adorama and Amazon cards have not started reporting yet. Then, the big success: about two weeks ago, I applied for an Amex Everyday card (the hard pull knocked my score down from 642 to 639) because Credit Karma told me I had a good chance of being approved. I got the dreaded "further consideration" message, then an e-mail asking for a pay stub. I sent one, but then got another e-mail asking for an IRS transcript of a recent 1040. I called Amex because this kind of baffled me, since my income is close to $80,000; they told me on the phone that my pay stub had no date on it so they couldn't accept it (it most certainly DOES have a date on it, very prominently displayed)...I decided not to argue, and faxed them the form approving the transcript of my tax return.
Another week went by, and, to my surprise, I got an approval e-mail from Amex for the Everyday Card yesterday, with a $5,000 spending limit! The latter, I really did not expect. Again, this is with a 639 score on two bureaus and no score on EX, so I'm sure my income was key.
Anyway, no more applications from me for a while! I plan next to try for a card I can actually USE for something, haha, like Amex Hilton Ascend or maybe even Aspire (I travel a lot, and stay in Hiltons often), but I wouldn't dream of trying for either until, say, next summer. My next plan after that is to take out a small personal loan from Marcus (Goldman Sachs' new-ish online savings and lending platform), probably $5,000, that I'll pay off in one year, and then a two-year, $20,000 loan from them a year after that, with a long-term goal of a 7-year, $40,000 loan to help with buying a house in a foreign country when I retire in 2025. By then I hope to have good enough credit to get Marcus' best interest rate on that loan, which currently is 6%.
Thank you! Yes, I'm going to hang in there and see if the PRG AU thing eventually raises my score in any discernible way...if it doesn't in another 3-4 months or so, I'll ask them to take me off.
Congrats on your approval and very nice SL , thanks for data points , also congrats on your recent success !!!!
Congrats on a successful rebuild so far.
Just a note for anyone else who my come across this thread. American Express does not accept pay stubs as verification of income; you must submit a 4506T form authorizing Amex to pull your 1040 directly from the IRS.
Thanks. Interesting, because they definitely acted like they accepted them...they gave me the option of a pay stub or the IRS form, I chose the pay stub, and then received an e-mail from them acknowledging receipt of it...it was about 5 days later that I got a letter saying they weren't accepting the pay stub "because there was no date on it," which, after a call, I gave up trying to argue about and submitted the form.
Interesting, because they definitely acted like they accepted them...they gave me the option of a pay stub or the IRS form, I chose the pay stub, and then received an e-mail from them acknowledging receipt of it...it was about 5 days later that I got a letter saying they weren't accepting the pay stub "because there was no date on it," which, after a call, I gave up trying to argue about and submitted the form.
Amex is unusual in that regard; I've never heard about anyone successful at submitting a paystub...they always insist on the 4605T.
Where are you getting your credit reports/scores from? Is it Credit Karma?
You shouldn't be surprised you were approved. Although you wouldn't necessarily have a record of recently using credit - credit reports only contain the last 7 years of information - you were already in the credit bureaus records from back in the 80s. If you previously had an American Express your new card should come with the Member Since date showing the year you first got an Amex card.